Gardening has taught me so much about life. One of the things that has made a big impression on me is the practice of pinching back “spent” blossoms.
These little colorful flowers are dianthus, and they bloom over and over again all summer. Especially if you pull off the dying flower at the bud. In fact, if you don’t pinch it back, they eventually get weedy and unattractive.
Because I overthink things and am sentimental about the strangest things, while pinching them back one year, I was thinking about how sad it was that I had to throw away the blossoms that had been so beautiful, when I started to see what a great metaphor it was. Because life is like that, isn’t it? You have to make space for new growth. And it’s not necessarily pleasant, especially in the moment.
I am, as always, ridiculously blessed. The new gig is going well, but there have been strings of little (but not inexpensive) veterinary problems for a couple of weeks now, and a couple of friends have lost their remaining living parents, and some other people who deserve smooth sailing are finding themselves in rough waters, and it’s just making me feel like the world is a darker place than I typically believe it to be. And with my traditional excellent timing, I downgraded my relationship this week with one of my number-one cheerleaders. It was the right thing and it was well past time for it, but still.
But I keep thinking about those dianthus, and how you have to strip away some of what was beautiful to make room for new beauty. And I’m hoping that we’re going through a season of pinching back, to be followed by new beauty right around the corner.